Calculating Damages in Florida Nursing Home Abuse Cases

After enduring abuse in a nursing home, it makes sense to want to hold the responsible parties accountable. The victim can do so by pursuing legal action. In a nursing home abuse case, a person can recover damages for medical bills they may have incurred, or for the psychological pain caused by the abuse. Calculating damages in West Palm Beach nursing home abuse cases can be quite nuanced. If someone has been abused or neglected in the nursing home, they need an experienced lawyer to present their claim on all types of damages, but particularly on human damages. Because there are no medical bills to show a jury, it takes someone who has the experience necessary to put a story together to allow a jury to understand the pain and the suffering that the nursing home resident went through as a result of the abuse or neglect. If you wish to pursue damages, contact an attorney today.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

In a nursing home abuse case, economic damages are typically the medical bills for treatment caused by the abuse or neglect, and the cost of future care to fix the harm that was caused by the abuse or the neglect. Non-economic damages are called human damages and those are for pain and suffering caused by the wrong-doing.

Non-economic damages deal with the things that are most important in life: enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, and the intangibles of life which are often the most valuable part of any claim.

A cap on non-economic damages means there is an artificial level set by the court that no matter what a jury values the claim or amount of money necessary to make up for the harm, that there is a cap on the amount to be collected. When calculating damages in West Palm Beach nursing home abuse cases, it is important to note that there are no caps on economic and non-economic damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are damages that go beyond economic and non-economic damages. They are designed to punish extremely bad behavior and to deter others from engaging in that type of bad behavior in the future.

Punitive damages are awarded in West Palm Beach nursing home abuse cases in cases that have extreme wrong doing, intentional conduct, or gross negligence.

When calculating damages in West Palm Beach nursing home abuse cases, the jury typically decides what should be awarded. The Constitution says that there must be some reasonable limitations on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded, that could be limited to one to three times the amount of the combined economic and non-economic damages. But typically, it is left up to the jury, and the purpose of those is to punish extreme wrong-doing and to deter others from engaging in that terrible behavior.

The jury is going to evaluate the wrongfulness of the conduct, how extreme it was, if it was intentional or if the conduct was so far from what someone could expect in a civilized society that it would make someone say: “That conduct is outrageous.”

Value of an Attorney

It is important to hire a West Palm Beach injury lawyer to handle a nursing home abuses case because the person needs someone who can marshal the resources and have the experience necessary to establish the conduct that forms the basis of a damages claim. An attorney will pour significant time, energy and money into the case and prepare it in such a manner that the court or the jury will understand how bad the conduct was and how much harm was caused. A lawyer who has experience calculating damages in West Palm Beach nursing home abuse cases can show the necessity of punitive damages to punish the offenders and to send a message to the community that the behavior will not be tolerated. If you or someone you love has been abused in a nursing home speak to a lawyer today.